Bangladesh’s Trans Community Granted Full Voting Rights

Bangladesh’s Trans Community Granted Full Voting Rights

“From now onward, a third gender individual can be a voter with their own identity, as a hijra,” Abdul Baten, the Director of National Identity Registration declared. The trans community of Bangladesh has finally been granted the right to register to vote under a “third gender” identity category. Government officials allocated the category on the national voters’ list for the country’s trans community, commonly known as hijra. Prior to the change, Bangladeshi voters could only

Posted: May 3rd, 2019

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“The Portrait is Political” Opening on April 24th

“The Portrait is Political” Opening on April 24th

We’re excited about the opening of “The Portrait is Political” this Wednesday, April 24th from 7-9 PM at the Gallery at BRIC House in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The exhibition will feature “Jasmine Blooms At Night,” a series of small scale paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Jaishri Abichandani portraying South Asian American feminists and activists in the local community who are making a large social impact.  And her series features a portrait of

Posted: April 22nd, 2019

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Director Wanuri Kahiu Challenges Ban on Kenyan Lesbian Romance

Director Wanuri Kahiu Challenges Ban on Kenyan Lesbian Romance

The Kenyan film, Rafiki, a romance about two teenage girls falling in love in Nairobi received positive reviews internationally when it was released last year, but was summarily banned at home as the subject of lesbian love was classified as “incendiary.” The head of film classification expanded on the board’s opinion – “The attempt to normalize homosexuality is akin to air-conditioning hell.” Director Wanuri Kahiu is suing the government for infringement of

Posted: April 14th, 2019

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A New Generation of Desi Filmmakers Puts Gay Characters Front and Center

A New Generation of Desi Filmmakers Puts Gay Characters Front and Center

All of us desi queers binge watching Made in Heaven are witnessing a not-so-quiet  revolution on the digital screen. While Bollywood plays catch up on the silver screen with the recent release of Ek Ladki Ko Dekha, internet-driven platforms have been offering wider and fuller representation of LGBTQ Indian characters for the past couple years. Made in Heaven, the steamy web series directed by Zoya Akhtar that premiered on Amazon in March, chronicles

Posted: March 25th, 2019

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CSW 63 Dance Party on March 14th

CSW 63 Dance Party on March 14th

In preparation for the sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations kicking off next week, join the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) and their annual dance party, which will be attended by women activists and organizers from around the world.  The event is co-promoted by Rutgers University’s School of Arts and Sciences and CWGL.  The party will take place on Thursday, March 14th

Posted: March 7th, 2019

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Inside the Making of “U for Usha”

Inside the Making of “U for Usha”

While Ek Ladki Ko Dekha is being heralded as mainstream Bollywood’s first feature focusing on a lesbian relationship, independent Indian filmmakers have been producing films with desi-queer themes for decades. BomGay, Fire, and My Brother Nikhil are one of dozens of critically acclaimed productions that have tackled the topic. We’re thrilled that Sholay’s very own visuals maestro, Lotus Visual, has co-produced a Marathi language short film, U for Usha— a nuanced

Posted: February 10th, 2019

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Sonam Kapoor Leads in Desi Queer Love Story

Sonam Kapoor Leads in Desi Queer Love Story

We’re very excited about the upcoming release  of “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga”  directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar, and starring Sonam Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Anil Kapoor in what is billed a “coming-of-age queer romantic comedy-drama.”  Sonam portrays Sweety Chaudhary,who rejects all attempts by her Punjabi family to find her a husband because she is secretly in love with Kuku, played by Regina Cassandra.  While the trailer is quite subtle, (spoiler alert!) Sonam’s character

Posted: January 15th, 2019

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“Evening Shadows” on Dec 15th at SAIFF

“Evening Shadows” on Dec 15th at SAIFF

The 15th Annual South Asian International Film Festival is kicking off this week and will feature the official premier of Sridhar Rangavan’s “Evening Shadows” on Saturday, December 15th at 6:30 PM.  The film features on a mother-son relationship and how the mother deals with her son’s coming out of the closet and the father’s reaction and struggle to accept it. “Evenging Shadows” is also the Official Feature Selection in the festival’s Competition

Posted: December 8th, 2018

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